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March Mysteries with an Irish Connection

By Shari Randall

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, these March mysteries each have a connection to the Emerald Isle—books set in Ireland, featuring Irish characters, or their descendants in the US. If you’re in the mood for a mystery to go along with your corned beef and cabbage, try one of these reads—they promise more twists and turns than a lane in County Clare.

Many thanks to the authors for providing descriptions of their books!

Death of an Irish Diva

by Mollie Cox Bryan

Spring is in the air, but the ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop hardly have time to stop and smell the roses. Not when famed Irish dancer Emily McGlashen is found murdered in her studio just after the St. Patrick's Day parade—and one of the Crop's own members is the prime suspect. Vera's dance studio may have suffered when Emily waltzed into town, but the croppers know she's not a vengeful murderer. Lucky for her, co-scrapbooker Annie is a freelance reporter eager to vindicate her friend. What she discovers is a puzzling labyrinth of secrets that brings her face to face with a killer more twisted than a Celtic knot.

Kensington, 2014.

Visit the Author's Website.

The Walls Can Talk

by N. M. Cedeño

The Hanovers inherited an ancient Irish castle . . . that’s been moved to central Texas. When things move and go bump in the night, is the explanation treasure hunting teenagers or something more malicious? With a terrifying ghostly presence haunting their days and break-ins threatening their nights, the Hanovers reach out to a private detective, Montgomery of Montgomery Investigations and his employees at Bad Vibes Removal Service. A blend of mystery, paranormal, and fantasy, the book will spark discussion with themes of betrayal, history, and the supernatural.

Lucky Bat Books, 2017.

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Click for Discussion Questions.

Many a Twist

by Sheila Connolly

Boston-raised Maura Donovan arrived in West Cork planning to spend no more than a week, but a year later she's settled in after inheriting a house and pub in a small village. Things are going well until the mother who walked out on her when Maura was a child appears at the pub and needs Maura's help to solve a murder for which she may be a suspect. Maura can't say no, and she finds herself juggling running her business and moving closer to a real relationship with Mick Nolan while working with the local police to solve the crime.

Crooked Lane Books, 2018.

Visit the Author's Website.

Splintered Silence

by Susan Furlong

Brynn Callahan, a Marine MP injured in an IED explosion and suffering from PTSD, returns home to her Irish Traveller roots in Appalachia. When her service dog, Wilco, discovers a body, Brynn is shocked to learn she has a personal connection to her—and everything she’s been told about her past is called into question. Splintered Silence examines current social issues with themes centered around the Irish Traveller subculture, class tensions, PTSD, and the bond between a war vet and her dog.

Kensington, 2017.

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House of Eire

by June Gillam

Hillary Broome returns to her Irish roots to uncover not only her family connections, but to help her sister start a museum of the Emerald Isle’s 1800s history, uncovering stories some would rather remain buried. House of Eire is a tale of lost love, murder, magic, and even ghosts in the fairytale land of the four-leaf clover.

Gorilla Girl Ink, 2016.

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Click for a Discussion Guide.

Murder in G Major

by Alexia Gordon

Stranded in the Irish countryside with few options, African-American classical musician Gethsemane Brown accepts a job turning a group of rowdy schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra and a gig house sitting a lovely cliff-side cottage. The catch: the ghost of its murdered owner haunts the place. She agrees to clear his name so he can rest in peace but will she uncover the truth or star in her own farewell performance? A strong female African American protagonist, a charming ghost, the Irish countryside, and issues of pride, family, and starting over when your best-laid plans blow up make for good discussion.

Henery Press, 2016.

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Click for a Discussion Guide.

The Troubles

by Connie Johnson Hambley

Deceived by her family, a rebellious woman seeks to unearth how Northern Ireland’s Troubles are buried in her mother’s secret past. This sweeping, multi-generational suspense novel unfolds the history of America's involvement with the Irish Republican Army. Layered with action, love, and international intrigue, The Troubles provides multiple viewpoints of a single event and provokes readers to answer for themselves who the good and bad guys are.

Charylar Press, 2015.

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Click for a Discussion Guide.

Irish Stewed

by Kylie Logan

When disgraced Hollywood chef Laurel Inwood arrives in Hubbard, Ohio, she never expects the down-on-its luck restaurant she finds, the foster aunt who takes her under her wing, or the lively and loving Irish family that immediately makes her one of their own and encourages her to add Irish food to the restaurant's menu. When a local investigative TV reporter is killed, they all pitch in to solve the crime. Irish Stewed is a quick read with lots of fun characters and plenty to discuss about Irish culture and food.

Berkley, 2016.

Visit the Author's Website.

Native New Englander Shari Randall is the author of the Lobster Shack mystery series coming from St. Martin's Press in 2018. She loves being the Sister in Crime's Library Liaison because the role combines two of her favorite things: writing and libraries.

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